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tv   [untitled]    November 13, 2012 3:30am-4:00am PST

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home. when people get housing, permanent housing, raj was talking more specifically and he can elucidate more on the stablization rooms, but with the housing, people don't get into housing without providing some documentation and a application process because we have to be sure it's going to work and it's a community building process. we're not taking this information to screen people out, it's more to understand where they are coming from and making sure they will be okay in the housing, but people don't get into permanent housing without some level of knowing who they are and so forth. >> and in the stablization rooms, again, we want to make it as low threshold as possible to get people off the streets. but the kind of supports you have to provide also go up with regard to that. so, for example, everyone in a
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stablization room must agree to access the stablization room to agree to have case management as part of it. so it's not simply a room that you get and no strings attached, you have to agree to participate in our case management program and that generally means meeting with your case manager once a week whether it's in the room, whether it's in our office, whether it's in a cafe somewhere, wherever it's convenient and appropriate. on top of that we also have room monitors that by design are other case managers so there is a cross check. so these rooms are things that you don't have tenancy rights to, they are like treatment spaces. so our room monitors will go once a week and check these rooms, 1, it make sure the condition of the room is okay and if the person happens to be there, that the person is okay. but the person is really the responsibility of the case manager and the room is the responsibility of the room monitor. on top of all this, we have connections, we maintain good
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relations with the hotel owners and the hotel managers because they are taking on a bit of risk having us bring in people that they have not cleared. so whenever there are difficulties, issues that arise, we know that we need to support them with respect to possibly moving that individual to another room, to another hotel, and since we have 8 hotels we have some luxury to do that. secondly, that person may need to perhaps be in a shelter bed for a little while, while there's 24/7 staff coverage there, to help them with whatever issue is going on. so it's a very flexible program and we provide a lot of support. and because people don't have tendency rights to those rooms, people sign agreements saying we will observe hotel rooms otherwise we will be asked to leave. it does come to that, but sometimes. we try to make provisions for them to go to a
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shelter situation or possibly another hotel. we try our best it keep people in as safe a situation as we can but obviously there is no perfect situation. if there is assaultive behavior we have to ask people to leave. there are times we have had to use san francisco police department for emergencies. in 8 years we have had thousands of these rooms we have had to involve the police officers 5 or 6 times, literally. people are very grateful to be in these rooms, people are very happy we are providing the support we are providing. people tend to be on their best behavior. in fact, sometimes if people have a history of eviction this is a way they can demonstrate i can do well in this environment. we get letters from hotel management says, no, no, this person did well, they were perfectly fine. we use that as a way to get people back in permanent housing. but we want to keep the threshold as low as
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possible to help people who have been on the streets sometimes for years to get into housing. >> (inaudible). >> denise, you had a xwe. >> i will thank you both for being here. i was curious, i want to hear from the client perspective, what kind of feedback do you get from your clients that go through this program? >> i guess we can address it both ways. >> yes, whoever, thank you. >> for the stablization program overwhelmingly it's a positive response. people are happy to have a room that, we ask paepl to save up money but they don't have it pay for the room. there are complaints, there are complaints about bedbugs, there are complaints about people in the space using drugs and alcohol. these are private hotels and we don't have control over every single
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unit in the hotel. there are people that come into the hotel to sell drugs. this is a reality in the area we're talking about. there are neighbors that are using and it's tempting it use with them. we don't have as much control over the situation as we would like, but at the same time if you want to expert more control then you have to have a higher bar. so it's a dynamic that we struggle with all the time. but by and large, over 95, 97 percent of people are extremely happy to have a space that they can actually, they get a key, they can lock the door, they can have a place that's private for them and a place where they can store their belongings and just feel safer. overwhelmingly it's a positive response but by no means is it perfect. >> i would say for the permanent housing, you know, 97 percent or 98 percent of the people are extremely happy and i mean we have a much easier
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environment than what raj is dealing with in the sense that we have our support services on site, we have 24 hour desk clerking, we run the show. and so, you know, certainly issues come up and people become dissatisfied and want to laefrb or want to move and so forth, but i'd say the norm is that people become tearful and kind of a little overwhelmed when they are moving into a place like the richardson and what that says about who they are and that they do deserve a place to live like this that doesn't smell, that is light, that is clean, and in most cases it's, you know, by far the best housing they have seen in a very long time. >> thank you. >> joanna >> thank you, raj, marc, i know in the last 6 years i've worked a lot with you and called you many times about clients and complaints and
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situations. i wanted to address my question for the outreach team, for the hot team. i know you talked about master leasing hotels that are very low threshold. at the same time along with those really old buildings come a lot of physical accessibility problems. and one of the struggles that we have been having in our office and i think with the groups, the people that you work with, is the fact that now disability is so multi layered, we see our population aging, especially our chronickly aging folks are on the street and they develop a lot of physical ailments as a result of homelessness. so how do you see or how do you fill the gap between the need for access in those stablization rooms and the stock that you actually have available? because we have
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heard stories of folks where wheelchair users were having it crawl up stairs and not being able to fit into the rooms or once they get there, they can't use the restrooms, they can't use the common bathrooms. how do you see that and how do you plan on addressing it? >> and that's absolutely true. it depends on which hotels you are talking about. some are better than others. for example, i don't know if the civic center hotel may have popped up in your mind but we've been having difficulties with the civic center. they have had chronic issues with their elevators, they have tried to fix it, it's a costly thing for them to fix the elevator. we are currently considering getting out of the civic center because it's been quite some time and we are the homeless outreach community is about 55 or so units, it's quite a few units, for people who have no mobility issues, they don't have any complaints
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about at least the elevator issue, but we have another building that does have elevator access that's better. in the past we have had elevators where you have to swing, not swing the door but the chains. those have been difficult and sometimes narrow. so we try to find other buildings. but the fact remains that in the cost range that we're talking about you end up dealing with buildings that are older, you end up dealing with buildings that are in neighborhoods that are sometimes not the best. having said that, people are still generally satisfied with being in a building as opposed to being on the street. i don't feel satisfied personally about that, but it's a stepping stone as well to get into places that are way better, you know, in terms of the housing and urban health stock that we have. so it's an on-going process and we have left hotels, some hotels have asked us it leave because the clients we were bringing in were just too much for that environment and it didn't work out for
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them. we remain flexible about that and we're always looking for better and more diverse places. we started with 3 or 4 buildings and we have 8 now. for clients also one may not work out and we may have you go to another place. the other thing we've done, we have a little bit of muscle in the sense we have 55 units in a place. and to say to the owner, look, this must be fixed, otherwise we're leaving, and that's kind of where we're at with the civic center. that's one way to get the owners to improve the places that they have. the other thing is policy changes. when we first started, companion animals were mentioned earlier. a lot of these buildings did not take animals. so we said, look, out of our 40 units how about 6 of them or 8 of them or 10 of them if you can allow us to bring in animals. ann parker, who you mentioned earlier, she is our
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dog whisperer and she literally will assess the dogs by rolling on the floor with them so we're very proud to have her. so we check out the dogs. if the dogs don't have their shots, we get those done. if the dogs don't have companion animals done, i do those papers. a lot of people have them for their psychiatric disabilities. we restructured these things with the hotel, okay, maybe you don't want 20 people with dogs but maybe we can have 8 with dogs. we bought muzzles for the dogs that needed muzzles so it's easier for them to be buildings and we talked to our clients. look, you are able to bring a dog in but do not, you have to be mindful about how the dog behaves with other people in the building because otherwise we're not going to be ail to continue to host you in this building. so it's an on-going negotiation with the hotel managers, with the clients, with the dogs, with our staff members, because we want to continue to be as flexible as we can to be as
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accessible in a variety of ways for our clients so it works out for everybody. but it's a challenge and i'm not going to say it's all in a simple day's work. >> it's interesting because you and i, i know, have argued at times about housing and the reasonable accommodation process. and it's really important to note that these folks do not actually have tenancy rights. this is essentially a hosting place, a very low threshold place. one of the hopes and the wishes would be that you take an accurate inventory of the accessibility or the physical layout of those units that you actually leverage city money for. >> correct. >> and develop a longer term plan to actually provide an equal sort of percentage or a more appropriate percentage of
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accessibility in those very low threshold units. >> currently as far as elevator access, i'm going to include the civic center, we probably have 40 percent of our units that are elevator accessible. and certainly the number of our folks that need elevators is way less than 40 in terms of mobility impairment and that sort of thing. by and large, the disabilities that are the most often seen within our population are psychiatric, substance abuse related, but certainly physical issues, especially when you are out there so long. someone with hypertension who is home and has meds, that's one thing, but when you have a stroke and it brings about its own issues, it's an on-going challenge. >> any other questions? i just wanted to mention if you ever get a building with a full gym and swimming pool, i want to be at the top of the
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list. but since you don't have one right now, i want to thank you both. you are not just taking people and giving them homes, you are saving their lives. just getting them off the street with permanent housing, that's wonderful and we need more of that. thank you for your work and i hope you can continue for a very long time. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. (applause). >> looking at the time, it's 2.35, we still haven't taken our break so we're going to take one now and we'll be back in about 10 --. >> hold on. >> wait just a moment. i'm sorry. >> oh, public comment, i'm sorry. please come up. >> thank you, i'll be quick, i know people want to go on their break and i appall yiez for being late and missing part of the presentation. my name is jessica layman, i'm with senior
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disability action. as a lot of folks here know, we have been working with the sro collaborative on improving conditions in sro's for seniors and people with disabilities. so i was really interested in hearing more about daas and the homeless outreach team. a couple questions i had particularly about the homeless outreach team, you mentioned not having tenancy rights and i wondered why that is. how do you hold private hotels accountable for good living conditions since we know that's an issue. >> so with respect to tenancy rights, these rooms are sort of a hybrid between a shelter bed and a hospital bed in the sense that they are provided free of charge, they are provided for treatment and stablization purposes, they are provided as a quick way of getting off the streets. but since there is no payment expected from the client, in fact we don't accept payment for these rooms, you
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know, we checked with the authorities with the city attorney and this was thought to be, you know, a good legal way of doing it. what it allows us to do is to have that low threshold. we don't need id checks, we don't need checks about people's criminal backgrounds, that sort of thing. it is a bit of a bargain that you make but again most of our folks that are in these rooms do not have an issue and our policy is not to have them leave with any kind of arbitrary timeline. when they get into permanent housing is when they leave. i mentioned it takes 4 or 5 months to get all the documents and all that together. once you apply for housing it can take 2 or 3 months more to get through that process so people stay in these places until they get into their housing. we have not had too many difficulties with this. if we
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had to have tendency rights we would probably not have this problem because then people would not leave and we would have attrition of the program over time. people sign to even access these units, that's clearly stated that you do not have tenancy rights, that you are a guest of the department of public health and people have generally been okay with that. the issue of how do you work with the hotel managers, the ability we have to impression upon the hotel managers that things need to be a certain way is really the contract that we have with them and that there are certain expectations about cleanliness and about access and about safety that are in there. so when hotel managers are not following through, then we have a process by which we inform them that this is an issue. sometimes we actually involve environmental health, part of the department of public health, to help us with that. sometimes it's a matter of housing and urban health
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administers these units for us, it's a matter of talking to marc, talking to margo, this just isn't working out, perhaps you want to take 20 percent off because it isn't working out and let's get the equivalent number of rooms elsewhere. that's the type of bargaining we have to do. in general what the hotel managers will do is make some sort of fix that makes things better. it may not be perfect, but the client says that's fine. and when it doesn't work we have sometimes left hotels and gone on to others. does that make sense? >> public comment? public comment. >> go ahead, walter. >> i always knew (singing) there's a place for us, somewhere a house for us, housing to share in everywhere, out there, everywhere, somewhere, some way we'll find
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a knew way of living, we'll find a way of forgiving. somewhere, some way, somehow, right now. >> thank you, walter. and with that i think we're ready for our break. thank you. we'll be back in about 10. >> thank you. we are finished with our break and we are now on item no. 8, information item, report from physical access committee. the next item on our agenda is to express our appreciation to howard chadner for chairing the mayor's disability physical access committee. this is the
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council's committee -- oh, i'm sorry. you want to give your report first? >> i'll give the report and i have another related item. >> okay. >> thank you, good afternoon, chair james and council members. so this is the report of october 12, physical access committee meeting, which was a week ago. the meeting was not well attended. we encourage the public and madc members to attend. first item was the jefferson street redesign and development upsdait. john thomas gave an update. this involves jefferson street from hyde to jones. the street is currently 37 feet wide and is one way with two traffic lanes westbound and parking on both sides of the street. the project will narrow the street to 24 feet wide with one traffic lane in each direction
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and no street parking. there will be no dedicated bike lanes, bicycles will use the street. this project was originally conceived as a shared public way where motor vehicles, pedestrians and bikes would all share the same surface, but has been revised based partly on the input from the blind focus group that mod had, revised so it will be a traditional raised sidewalk so the pedestrians are separated from cars. there will be a pedestrian accessible signal at jones and jefferson. the signals at jefferson and hyde are not signalized anyway and that will remain the same. there are ramps to some of the restaurants, mostly restaurants and stores, because of the change in level. in front of some of those buildings they
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will also install stairs to improve general access and in some cases the ramps will be rebuilt or improved. the project is expected to caught $5 million dollars, including design construction. work is expected to start arpb -- around january of 2013 to take 6 months. the second was san francisco county transportation plan. colin dentalpost gave a presentation about the transportation plan, which is a plan for transportation in the city through the year 2040. the cta is the designated congestion management agency. the plan projects there will be an additional 101,000 households in san francisco by the year 2040 and an additional 191,000 new workers. they have an online survey tool, asking the public how do
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you want to spend the transportation dollars so the web site is so budget. there's a related web site which is then finally committee members discussed their experiences with transportation and physical access to the sites of the america's cup and fleet week, both in early october and also in august. roland wong, council member wong particularly had a lot of input which he has also given to the mta next meeting will be friday, november 9, from 1.30 to 3.30 at city hall, room 421. that brings me to the segue. this was my last meeting and as
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i think the council members know, i have resigned. technically today is my last day. i'd like to read the letter that you wrote, you all have a copy of it but for the benefit of the people in the audience i'm going to read it. it's to mayor lee, carla johnson, john paul scott and cochairs wendy james and julianne parsons. i hereby resign as chair of the physical access committee, effective day. i have served as chair of the physical access committee for almost 5 years. sips i began using an electric wheelchair and even before then when i walked with great difficulty. i have seen great improvement in san francisco especially access to buildings, curb ramps into buildings and disaster preparedness. it has
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been a privilege and a source of pride to have helped move the ball forward on physical access as chair of this committee. however, when it comes to access for people with major mobility disabilities, san francisco is becoming a tale of two cities. in one city, the progress mentioned above is continuing but in the other city, san francisco's campaign against cars is threatening our safety, transportation options, mobility, independence and equality of opportunity. people with major mobility disabilities, many of whom are seniors, rely heavily on private cars, paratransit and shuttle services. the campaign against cars is harming many san franciscoans and visitors but is having a disparate effect on us. the lack of enforcement against aggressive and illegal behavior by bicyclists is deeply troubling.
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the achievements in physical access, curb ramps is being undermined by the city's campaign against cars and bad behavior by bicyclists, both of which threaten to make it increasingly difficult for people with major mobility disabilities to remain in san francisco. if it continues on its current course, this will have terrible demographic consequences that conflict with the principle often stated by elected officials, sick leaders and san franciscoans of all stripes of encouraging and supporting a resident population that is diverse in, among other characteristics, age, disability status, family status, income and occupation. during the past year i and others have communicated these concerns many times to you, mayor lee, to the board of supervisors, the sfmta board of directors and sfmta staff. in that time the campaign against
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cars has intensified and become more insidious and our concerns have not been addressed in a major way. therefore, after careful consideration and with regret, i have chosen to resign. thanks to all of you for the opportunity to serve as chair of the physical access committee and work with the mod and many other volunteers. sincerely. i had planned to stop after that, but a couple of things happened on wednesday, just two days ago, this wednesday, that i have to mention. i'm a volunteer guide, tour guide, at city hall, as many of you know. a bit before noon on wednesday i was on my way to meet a friend for lunch before my tour and as i was rolling east on fell between masonic and central, a bicyclist was riding west on the sidewalk on fell street. i asked him politely to please not ride on the sidewalk. i said please, i
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didn't yell. as he said past me, he yelled something i could not understand. a few minutes later when i was on fell between lion and baker near the old sp hospital, i heard a screech of brakes and tires behind me on the sidewalk and felt the near presence of something behind me. before i could stop and turn around, a cyclist sped past me from behind. it was the same cyclist. this was unnerving, to say the least, and is still when i think about it. a woman was standing near the fence of the old sp building smoking. she told me that she saw what happened and that the bicyclist came close to me. i told her that he was the same cyclist as before. she was appalled and told me she's had many bad experiences with cyclists. the cyclist was a white man, probably in his 30's, wearing shorts, a tee shirt and no helmet. i should add there was
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a paved bike path maybe 50 or 60 feet from where the cyclist was riding. that same day after my tour my friend and i were crossing west on fell crossing octavia. we had the green light and the pedestrian signal. we were stopped in our tracks and almost hit by a cyclist riding northbound on octavia who was turning left on fell after the light turned red. she did not see us waiting to cross and probably didn't even see that she had cut us off because she was so focused on speeding up to make her turn, even though the light had just turn red and was so lost in listening to her headphones. the cyclist was an asian woman probably in her 20's and were wearing headphones. if it were possible to prove such things, i'd be willing to bet a lot, maybe even